If We Controlled Your Remote… 4/19/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Last week, Epix kicked off the latest series from the award-winning team behind Downtown Abbey. Belgravia opens in Brussels in 1815, on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, as James Trenchard (Philip Glenister, Mad Dogs) and his wife Anna (Tamsin Greig, Episodes) attend what will become a legendary ball hosted by the Duchess of Richmond. James is a merchant trader and Anna the daughter of a schoolmaster, so this party was well above their social status, but it was wartime, and James had earned the nickname of “The Magician” for his ability to locate supplies for the army. The Trenchards had been invited to the party by the Duchess’ nephew, Lord Edmund Bellasis, who was seeing their daughter Sophia. Just as dinner started, the party was abruptly interrupted and the men are called off to the battlefield. While Napoleon was defeated, Edmund didn’t survive the battle.

The show then jumped ahead 26 years. James Trenchard and his family have moved up the social ladder in the post-war era. James got into the building business, partnering with those designing upscale neighborhoods like Belgravia, London. They have become part of the nouveau riche, and Anne has been invited to the Duchess of Bedford’s home for afternoon tea. She first talks with the Duchess of Richmond, and we learn that Sophia died less than a year after that fateful ball. Then Anne runs into Caroline, Countess of Brockenhurst (Harriet Walter, The Crown), whose only son was Edmund, and the two bond over the loss a child. Later, at family dinner, we see that James and Anna’s son Oliver has grown up to become a bit of a disappointing lazy snob thanks to the money his wife brought to their marriage.

As the premiere came to a close, we learned that Edmund and Sophia had secretly gotten married and consummated their union. However, Sophia discovered that the wedding had been a sham as Edmund headed off into battle with his buddy, the “reverend,” and that she later died in childbirth. Later in the evening, Anne raises the idea to James that they should tell Caroline about her grandson, but James isn’t too keen on the idea.

Where have they been hiding this grandson for the past 25 years?! And how will Caroline react to this news – will she welcome him as a son and heir, or will she be upset?

I think folks who enjoyed Downton Abby will also enjoy this series. By the end of last week’s episode, Belgravia felt very similar with its soapy and outrageous twists and turns. It also deals with similar class themes, not only between the titled and the nouveau riche, but also the upstairs/downstairs interactions in this new era, like in last week’s episode, as the Trenchard house staff gossiped about their employers. And there was even the wisecracking, grumpy old Duchess of Richmond, who felt a lot like Downton’s Dowager Countess. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the series.

In tonight’s second episode, Anne tells Caroline a secret that puts the women in opposition; a surprise guest at a lavish party hosted by Caroline forces James to reveal a truth that threatens to tear the Trenchards apart.

Note: If you’re not an EPIX subscriber, for a limited time you can access it for free without a login via the Apple TV app if you have a TV or streaming device that offers this app.

Otherwise, catch it tonight on EPIX at 9/8c.

Tonight, I’ll also be watching/recording Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, The Simpsons, Duncanville, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, Killing Eve, Westworld, and Run.
Jump with us to see else we think you should watch.

Phoebe’s Choice

While it has been a great departure from the first two seasons, which were set mostly on the island where Westworld, Indiaworld, & Japanworld were all located, season three of Westworld has maintained its action-packed, tech-based thriller motif nonetheless. Set in the real world (as far as we know), we have been following Delores on a quest to acquire access to the systems of a company called Insight. She dated and more recently kidnapped Liam Dempsey Jr., the heir to the company – at least financially. We now know that the system behind Insight’s great success is a program named Rehoboan, which was invented by Engerraund Serac and his brother. A pervading mystery about Caleb’s identity looms, and as much as I want to think somehow he’s Teddy, that seems a bit far-fetched at this stage of the game.

Last week we learned about the history of Insight and how Serac & Liam’s father interacted over decades. Serac essentially uses the predictive AI Rehoboan to control the whole world, down to the last individual. His main concern is finding “Outliers” – people who are unstable and unpredictable who will cause the collapse of civilization if he does not stop them. While making their way through the sewers, Liam dosed Caleb with a drug called Genre, which caused him to hallucinate through the whole episode, in the mode of different film genres. He went from Film Noir to Action Movie, then later through Dreamy Overproduced Romance to Psychedelic Rock Video. It was a kind of cool effect that helped make the episode more interesting but which also may have muddied our understanding of his identity. Were his visions of being some heartless mercenary spook real, or was that the comedown from the Genre?

Despite Caleb’s aloofness because he was drugged, Delores still pulled off the job, getting Liam to surrender his access information while they were pinned down in a car by Serac’s men. After she acquired access to Rehoboan, she turned it inside and out, making the system show everyone on Earth the files that Insight kept on them. Ash & Giggles joined Delores & Caleb for this part of the adventure, where they learned some hard truths about themselves. One of the other host bodies she had copied herself into, who was integral in accessing Rehoboan, sacrificed themself so that Bernard might get away safely. “You’re the only one I can’t rebuild” was the gist of Delores’s reason in keeping Bernard alive so far, though he suspects she has a bigger role for him in her unfolding war on Serac. The last scene basically boiled down to Delores telling Serac that she was coming for him, as he holographically conferenced from his private jet.

With Maeve now dead, the show is going to have to pick up the pace to keep us enthralled. Delores & Maeve used to balance our interest in the show. Maeve had an emotional stigma that made her so fascinating, while Delores has shorn herself of emotion to achieve the complex agenda she’s put together. There are only three more episodes this season, with talks of a season four being in the works, and I hope we get some more of the mind-blowing reveals that this show has always been good for.

On tonight’s episode, “Decoherence,” Do a lot of people tell you that you need therapy?

Don’t miss tonight’s episode on HBO at 9/8c.

I’ll also be watching Bob’s Burgers and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

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